Simone de Wobreck ©  
(Haarlem, 1557)

Ascent to the ordeal

Oil on the table
H 53 x 40 cm, in frame 63 x 48
Expertise by Professor Claudio Strinati:

"The Ascent to Calvary bears the following words inscribed on the back (partially covered by a parquet presumably applied in fairly recent times to strengthen the stability of the wood): Martin de Vos Antwerp 1532-1603. Therefore the reference, which I believe was also written in recent times, is to the famous Flemish painter who was also present in Italy and left notable works as well as a flourishing workshop in our country it must be treated in relation to our painting. The work in question here, in fact, is absolutely Flemish and can be dated with absolute certainty to the second half of the sixteenth century, but it does not at all denote the style, which is otherwise unmistakable, of Martin de Vos. On the contrary our work falls within a field of Flemish painting in Italy which does not derive directly from de Vos but instead coincides with a school of his fellow countrymen which is collateral but very distinct they crowd around the fallen Redeemer and reflect a double sentiment: ethical and aesthetic. On the one hand, upon closer inspection, the painter vigorously represents with harsh and almost popular accents the pain and sadness of the crowd that gathers and thins out with a very suggestive and engaging scenic effect; on the other hand, the work as a whole reads as a sense of derision and mockery, consistent with the story represented. This type of representation is typical of Flemish culture which even remains remotely connected, in many authors also active in Italy, to the culture of Hieronymus Bosch, dating back however to the first half of the sixteenth century.
< i>But all this does not belong to the culture of de Vos which is instead oriented towards an austere and noble classicism.
Here, in our work, we see the exact opposite of classicism. Indeed, we see an attitude on the part of the painter who painted the painting, of an absolutely manneristic type which corresponds with what we have noticed. The stylistic characters of our painting, therefore, are strictly connected with a another Flemish master working in southern Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century, Simone De Wobreck. It is a name that today may be less known than a de Vos, but Simone De Wobreck was a master of the highest prominence, active above all in Sicily where he created an important group of disciples and followers. If we compare our painting with an authentic c De Wobreck's masterpiece such as the majestic altarpiece of the Circumcision in the church of San Domenico in Castelvetrano is in my opinion clear that we are faced with the same hand. Analytical and pungent, very lively and proliferating, our painting was created by an artist of the same mentality and figurative culture that we see expressed in the Castelvetrano altarpiece. Furthermore, Simone De Wobreck repeatedly dealt with the theme of the Ascent to Calvary, as is well documented by at least two altarpieces that sources refer to him, one already in San Francesco in Caccamo and another in the church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Ciminna. In short, our painting must be considered a remarkable work of Flemish mannerism in Italy, probably dating back to between the ninth and tenth decades of the sixteenth century, in the last years of the life of De Wobreck who, born in Haarlem on an unspecified date but to be placed in the fourth decade, he disappeared, on a documentary basis, around 1596/97."
€ 6.900,00
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